Ainda não começámos a pensar
                                               We have yet to start thinking
 Cinema e pensamento | On cinema and thought                                                                              @ André Dias

A blank screen, the images I might yet display
The reason for this lingering interest in me may have been nothing more than the common preference of plainsfolk for the concealed rather than the obvious—their weakness for expecting much from the unfavoured or the little-known. Although I asked no questions on my own behalf, I learned in time that I was considered by a small group to be a film-maker of exceptional promise. When I first heard this, I had been about to reply that my cabinets full of notes and preliminary drafts would probably never give rise to any image of any sort of plain. I had almost decided to call myself poet or novelist or landscaper or memorialist or scene-setter or some other of the many sorts of literary practitioner flourishing on the plains. Yet if I had announced such a change in my profession I might have lost the support of those few people who persisted in esteeming me. For although writing was generally considered by plainsmen the worthiest of all crafts and the most nearly able to resolve the thousand uncertainties that hung about almost every mile of the plains, still, if I had claimed even a small part of the tribute paid to writers I would probably have fallen out of favour with even those who shared this view of prose and verse. For my most sincere admirers were aware also of the plainsman's scant interest in films and of the often-heard claim that a camera merely multiplied the least significant qualities of the plains—their colour and shape as they appeared to the eye. These followers of mine almost certainly shared in this mistrust of the uses of film, for they never suggested to me that I might one day devise scenes that no one could have predicted.
What they praised was my apparent reluctance to work with camera or projector and my years spent in writing and rewriting notes for introducing to a conjectured audience images still unseen. A few of these men argued even that the further my researches took me away from my announced aim and the less my notes seemed likely to result in any visible film, the more credit I deserved as the explorer of a distinctive landscape. And if this argument seemed to classify me as a writer rather than a film-maker, then my loyal followers were not perturbed. For their very denials justified their belief that I was practising the most demanding and praiseworthy of all the specialized forms of writing—that which came near to defining what was indefinable about the plains by attempting an altogether different task. It suited the purposes of these men that I should continue to call myself a film-maker; that I should sometimes appear at my annual revelation with a blank screen behind me and should talk of the images I might yet display. For these men were confident that the more I strove to depict even one distinctive landscape—one arrangement of light and surfaces to suggest a moment on some plain I was sure of—the more I would lose myself in the manifold ways of words with no known plains behind them.

Gerald Murnane, The plains,
Text Publishing, Melbourne, 1982, pp. 169-172.

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